International Fest to spread joy this weekend


PORTSMOUTH — The Annual St. Mary International Festival is planned to entertain the community once again this weekend, with events scheduled Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The event is made possible, thanks to Father Brian Beal, co-chairs Rick Estep and Tim Paul, as well as a committee of 30 people.

“It is the major fundraiser for the church and also a tremendous community outreach to expose the church,” Co-chair Rick Estep said. “We’re one of the biggest events of the year. We bring in thousands of people to this thing.”

Proceeds from the event go towards the new recreation center the church built, as well as other discretions the church leadership find to be appropriate.

The events start Friday at 5:30 p.m., with select food booths, a biergarten, Chinese auction, and music at 6:30 p.m.

The band scheduled to play is Sheldon Road Band. The band is based out of Flatwoods and Lexington, Ky. They are a regional band known across Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana. Ken Adams is the lead vocals and guitar, James Dillon is on vocals and guitar, Austin Boggs dominates on bass, and Ryan Woods keeps everyone on beat on the drums.

The event continues Saturday at 8 a.m., with a flea market at the inside center, alongside an antique car, truck, and motorcycle show, as well as a craft and vendor fair. The international food booths will open at 11 a.m. and Steve Free will play music at 2 p.m.

Free is well known for his music in the local region, as he hails as an internationally acclaimed award-winning singer/songwriter whose music is drawn from his Native American and Appalachian roots.

There will also be kid games and inflatables, a biergarten hosted by Portsmouth Brewing Company, a Chinese Auction and craft booth. The evening will close after a performance by the 6:30 concert performed by The Detours.

The Detours consist of Alan Reed, Doug Parsley, Jamie Martin, and Jacob Ankrom. Reed and Parsley and Martin were all members of local favorites Flashback and The Detours. Jacob is a founding member of local favorite Mikey Mike and the Big Unit. The band has a lot of popularity across different paths, solo and ensemble.

Sunday Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., with food booths open at 11:30 a.m. The flea market, Chinese auction, and tractor show will take place throughout the day. Town Folk will take the stage at 1 p.m., Mikey Mike and the Big Unit will take the stage at 2 p.m., the dessert auction will be held at 3 p.m. and raffle drawing at 5 p.m.

Town Folk is a folk-rock trio from southern Ohio, consisting of locals James Mohr, Kyle Redoutey, and Macyn Rose Johnson.

Mikey Mike and the Big Unit is a big blues and soul band that dominates the local music scene. The Unit began in 2016, as a side project of the classic rock/ jam band Uncle Eli and the Poets of Woo. The band consists of Eli Vestich on guitar, Jacob Ankrom, on bass, Charles Nichols(Nick) on drums, Tony Mckrimmon on sax, Chelsea Watkins on lead vocals and Don Smith on keyboard.

“I think the entertainment lineup is just awesome and you get a different flavor of music from each of the groups we have performing,” Estep said.

Once the cleanup is done for what is expected to be another successful year of a local favorite, Estep says the group will all feel about the same.

“The feeling that we get is 100 percent satisfaction knowing the church made an awesome outreach to the community, to let them know we’re part of the community, and we invite the entire community to show.”

The St. Mary International Festival will be September 16, 17, and 18 at 515 Market Street. See times above for starting points. For more information, call 740.354.4551 or visit

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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